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    In this image provided by UNICEF Pacific people walk along the shore where debris is scattered in Port Vila, Vanuatu, Saturday, March 14, 2015, in the aftermath of Cyclone Pam

    Vanuatu President Appeals for Global Assistance After Deadly Cyclone Pam

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    The President of the South Pacific Ocean's Republic of Vanuatu Baldwin Lonsdale asked the global community to help Vanuatu after tropical cyclone Pam swept through the republic's capital Port Vila.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The President of the South Pacific Ocean's Republic of Vanuatu addressed the global community Saturday to support the island nation after tropical cyclone Pam devastated the country.

    "I stand to appeal on behalf of the government and people of Vanuatu to the global community to give a lending hand in responding to these very current calamities that have struck us," Baldwin Lonsdale said in Sendai, Japan at the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction.

    Late Friday, category 5 tropical cyclone Pam swept through the republic's capital Port Vila, claiming, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the lives of at least 44 people.

    Local residents look at damaged boats against a jetty in Port Vila, the capital city of the Pacific island nation of Vanuatu March 14, 2015
    © REUTERS / UNICEF Pacific/Handout via Reuters
    The country's National Disaster Management Office later scaled down the figure to eight dead, while aid agencies and officials say the full extent of the damage may not be known for days to come.

    Earlier in the day, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) reported that at least half of population of Vanuatu, including almost 54,000 children, may be affected by the disaster.

    UNICEF New Zealand Executive Director Vivien Maidaborn said in a statement on Saturday she is concerned the cyclone may "potentially be one of the worst" in the history of the Oceanic nation.


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